This month, Ian Truscott is standing on the balcony with Jane Scandurra, personal branding, social selling, and marketing expert and wondering if we should be chucking “LinkedIn Solicitations Like You’re My Best Friend” into our portal to marketing hell.

Welcome to the Rockstar CMO Swimming Pool, inspired by rock stars of old, that had a reputation for throwing things out of hotel windows into the swimming pool, it’s our portal to hell for all the bullshit, snake oil, over hyped trends and all that’s bad about our wonderful marketing industry that we hope will never return.

This month I am inspired by a conversation I had with Jane Scandurra, personal branding, social selling, and marketing expert on episode 15 of the podcast, I asked her what she would nominate for the swimming pool and she said:

“… something that’s really been pissing me off lately is LinkedIn solicitations and sales pitches that that sound like they’re coming from my best friend, and they’re for services that I clearly have no need for and if they just checked out my profile on my website, but email marketing is alive and well and you know, even a blind squirrel finds a nut eventually, but it is just killing LinkedIn”

It’s funny, if you ask anyone, they hate it, they are tired of how people are behaving on LinkedIn, the spurious reasons to connect and then wham! The sales pitch. Which is odd, if everyone hates it – who’s doing it?

Well, I think it’s another of those weird things, none of us like more email, yet as marketers we all send it and it’s another reason why us marketers shouldn’t be trusted with nice things.

The machines have taken over, it costs nothing to do and if you piss enough people off with your approaches, like that blind squirrel, it will all be worth it if one person in a thousand finally says yes. I am sure this is the advice of some social media selling guru, like a sleezy guy at a bar that asks every girl to sleep with him on the off chance one says yes. For them a relationship is a numbers game, are you the one?

The slide of LinkedIn into the burning dumpster that is Twitter or worse Facebook would be a real shame, I personally like the platform, I’m old school, I never connect with anyone unless I have met them in real life, or have a strong social media bond with them. I live in this antiquated world where I think someone might ask me about one of my connections and that I would need to vouch for them, or something, I cling on to an old ideal that this is a professional network.

This isn’t a ding against LinkedIn per se, it’s what we are turning it into. It seems if you give someone an “interrupt another person for cheap” button they will press it. And that has to stop. We as marketers need to realize that developing business relationships is not about pissing off 99.9% of the people, for the 0.1% that click through.

Sometimes I might debate the merit of heaving whatever has been nominated over the balcony, but this is a good one – and it’s going in.  

“Hey Rockstar CMO Swimming Pool, I think it would be great for my network if we connect, I do exactly the same service as you and I haven’t read your profile, but loving whatever it is you do, but you definitely need my help”

The pool accepts.


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